Exclusive: Calvin Klein Collection’s Pre-Fall Menswear
Italo Zucchelli, the creative director of Calvin Klein Collection’s menswear, was unexpectedly enthusiastic about a subject in fashion—at least in men’s fashion—that most prefer to ignore: pre-collections. “It’s kind of new for men,” Zucchelli said. Not long ago, the situation was much the same for womenswear: Pre-collections were commercial lines, meant to bolster store buys (in practice, they often make up to 70 percent, or more, of many retailers’ annual purchases) and distill the themes of the mainline “editorial” collections presented on the runway into more wearable, salable form. But anyone reading Style.com over the past few years has seen pre-collections boom, often into runway shows of their own. (See our complete coverage if you disbelieve.)
ould the same happen for menswear? Zucchelli, for one, makes such a thing seem possible. (His sales, he reports, are split fifty-fifty between pre-collections and Spring and Fall collections.) “The pre-collections became bigger and bigger,” he said. “Now I’m injecting fashion.” The Pre-Fall 2014 collection, debuting here, makes the point. The airy palette of the Spring ’14 collection, inspired in part by the work of James Turrell, turned darker, but blue remained dominant. Makes sense: Navy is a color no man is afraid to buy. But Zucchelli made good on his promise of more fashion in this traditionally sales-friendly offering. A bonded flannel car coat, easy and approachable, was spliced together with a panel of contrast fabric. “Techy” was Zucchelli’s word for it. That future-leaning, technological bent, which has characterized many of his collections for the label, was evident throughout: In the moire jacquard motif on suits and jackets, the slash details worked into the seams of tailored garments, and, most of all, the printed graphic sweatshirts and tees that the designer said were already attracting significant sales attention. They featured blue-tinted aerial illustrations of one of the world’s techiest cities: Tokyo.